Planning creates pathways for our mind to follow. Our mind works according to templates. It will follow the templates it has. If we want to do something different or new, we need to create a template for our mind to follow. Planning creates new pathways or templates so that we can venture into new activities.
Key components of planning are:
Analysis of the area in which we want to create a plan
Creating a vision of what we want to create
Establish goals, steps and procedures that will help us reach that vision
Establish boundaries of orientation
Visualize and mentally rehearse the plan in detail
Look for anxieties and fears
Plan how you want to feel
Plan how you are going to monitor the plan and for any contingencies
Functional Skills have Impact on:
Necessary Functional Skills For Success:
Shape Recognition – Shape recognition is the foundation for recognizing and comprehending most perceptual images and concepts. Frequently, shape may be considered the defining property of a stimulus. It assists us in recognizing stimuli within the environment. Shape recognition helps us be efficient in information management. Also, it assists in focusing on target objects hidden among other irrelevant objects.
Direction and Orientation – Direction, or orientation, is a core recognition skill. It provides a valid and well-founded reference point for our self within our environment. Direction provides boundaries for judgment, and includes effective understanding of orientation relationships for specific tasks, including problem solving. This skill is crucial for being self-organized. Self-confidence results from how one feels about their environmental orientation.
Classification and Categorization – Classification and categorization are the abilities that help us develop concept models by allocationg chosen features of stimuli into particular associative groups. They require one to identify the unifying qualities causing objects to logically belong together in specific contexts. They then call for judgment to decide whether an object possesses the sought characteristics. These skills assist in summarizing large amounts of information.
Environmental Acuity – Environmental awareness indicates how generally attentive one is to detail within the environment. It determines one’s ability to respond to socially familiar stimuli of varying complexity. It demonstrates one’s ability to separate essential and non-essential parts from the whole. Also, it demonstrates how efficiently one can compare a visual pattern with a concept, and relate the pattern to past experiences. This skill is known as social awareness. Environmental Awareness allows us to understand how objects function in our environment.
Field Discrimination – Field discrimination indicates the capacity for intellectual curiosity where one is able to focus on a stimulus in the presence of competing stimuli. It is an essential cognitive function for efficient learning and information processing. It allows one to remain focused on tasks without being distracted. This is an important skill for avoiding information overload.
Analysis and Synthesis – Analysis is the capacity to disassemble something into its basic parts so each part can be looked at individually. Once each part is understood, it is then important to understand how the parts relate to each other. Synthesis is the ability to take parts and re-assemble them in a different manner for another purpose. The parts may be related to an isssue, concept or topic and the main ideas supporting them. Analysis and synthesis are essential for efficient comprehension of written or spoken statements. They improve one’s ability to efficiently reason.
Abstract Sequencing – Logic is a component of reasoning. It allows one to discover the most appropriate relationship between one object or concept and another. It requires one to identify the sequence of the objects or concepts being related to a specific context. Abstract logic is the abikity to order each phase in succession, providing efficient direction towards a goal. It applies to both conceptual and practical outcomes. Abstract sequencing is used in comprehension, then in developing strategies for problem solving.
Concrete Sequencing – Similar to the above skill, concrete sequencing is similar to abstract sequencing except that it is helps determine performance efficiency for practical situations where logic is observed. Concrete sequencing is more concerned with the recognition of logic that abstract sequencing is. Abstract sequencing is more concerned with arranging an order to suit a particular context.
Pattern Recognition – Pattern recognition is the ability to quickly see patterns in the physical or abstract worlds. It helps us anticipate things happening and to speed up our learning.
Short Term Memory – This is the memory that we use that lasts only a brief time. It is important is our ability to attend to things in the moment and to stay focused.
Tracking – Tracking is the ability to follow along a line of text or to follow tracks in the woods. It is crucial to our ability to listen and read.
Attention – Attention is the ability to concentrate and identify frequently changing stimuli. A key aspect is producing very clear thinking pathways so there are distinct goals at intervals throughout the process. One can then see the plan from beginning to end, and understand the steps and processes in between. The clearer the pathways, the greater the attention: the less clear the pathways, the more likely inattention or indecision will prevail. Attention brings efficiency to learning and to any workplace task. Tracking, memory, and pattern recognition are all part of attention.
Motor Integration – Motor integration is the networking between our brain and our motor functions providing the capacity to carry out specific tasks. It involves the process of critical thinking, developing strategies, then acting upon those strategies as we interact with our environment. Through this skill, the impact of stimuli from the outside world is transferred effectively into action. Also, through motor integration the mind is able to metacognitively fine-tune one’s thoughts.
Signs of Inefficiencies in Functional Skills:
Lack of Planning or Poor Planning
Inefficient Work Patterns
Lack of Confidence
COGNITION & BEHAVIOR
Cognition is the process of thinking, or following accepted social thought conventions. A large number of our cognitive skills are developed through modeling, primarily by parents, during the first six years of life. Any interruptions to input will effect the development of efficient cognitive skills.
Individuals, however, do not all attain identical intellectual status. Any interruption to stimulus modeling input alters the development of clear thinking pathways. When properly established, these pathways allow us to perform in a socially appropriate manner.
Cognitive skill development can be halted at any stage. Stimulus input interruption at a very early age can result in considerable gaps in many areas of cognition.
Thinking or cognitive processes are interconnected. “Skills tension” results when an individual has both under-developed and well-developed skills. Skills tension creates emotional stress and over reactions. If left unsupported an individual will often default to an emotional response rather than a more socially appropriate reaction. Emotional stress dissipates when skills are more consistent. Over time, an individual will reframe their beliefs about themselves and develop a higher level of self esteem.
Once an individual’s cognitive skills have been assessed, a consultant is then able to model the necessary skills and introduce a series of exercises intended to remediate specific inefficient skills, thus enabling the client to improve their performance in the areas found most in need.
Once an individual’s cognitive skills begin to improve, the individual begins to change how they react to stimuli. As a result, an individual will have more alternatives in the moment to make more appropriate decisions in their own eyes and in the eyes of others.